I told myself that this was going to be my best year yet, and I set some goals for myself-- personally and professionally. Well, personally, I had a goal to complete a half marathon, and it worked out that Augusta University's Half Marathon was over the weekend. I have been training for a little while, and ran a 15K last Sunday, the 17th... Probably not the smartest idea I've ever had. I've had some knee issues and other aches that I have been trying to work through and let heal up... But I was signed up, and determined!
The first 7 miles weren't so bad. Not my fastest, but I was trying to pace myself. It was cold and damp out too, so that didn't help. My head phones died before mile too-- despite having charged them the night before. Grrrr.
By mile 7, my knee pain started flaring up, then it felt like my thighs and my calves were one big cramp... I was in a lot of pain. I HAD to walk, I really didn't have much of a choice at that point. I wanted to do the full race in 2 hours and 30 minutes, but I finally had to tell myself-- don't worry about the time, give yourself grace, walk as much as you need too, and daggum it, you may crawl across the finish line, but you ARE finishing this thing.
I will say-- Thank you to the ladies who went up that huge hill at mile 6 with me. Thanks for the encouragement! To the lady, whoever you were, halfway through that was standing on the street corner yelling at us telling us that this was the hardest part and not to give up-- Thank you for making me smile and remember the importance of encouraging each other to push past our limitations.
The blue mile-- was POWERFUL. Seeing the faces and ages of so many lives that fought for, and died for our country, a THANK YOU would never be enough. And to the folks (soldiers and families I believe) that were standing holding the flags and screaming so much encouragement-- you gave me a second wind. I thought, these folks have probably gone through worse-- so I can do this! THANK YOU!
My time was 2 hours and 43 minutes. I made it.... Quite possibly the hardest physical challenge I've ever had. I was thinking the whole second half of the race, "This sucks!" And I thought, "I'll never do another".
I will say-- after crossing the finish line, I thought I was going to collapse, and I saw my fiance. I started crying-- from pain and from the sense of accomplishment.
SO-- now that I know a bit more what to expect, see what physical challenges I need to overcome... I am competitive, and I am always pushing to make myself better. I now want to do another to prove to myself that I can run more. Crazy, right?! Obviously-- the knee pain needs to be addressed and corrected. I need to fine tune my hydration and my meals leading up to the race as well, to prevent the cramping.
Overall, I am proud of myself. It was tough, but it feels good to achieve goals. What goals have you set for yourself?